First Woman Nominee for President of the United States by a Major Political Party
The below talking points were developed following a lively and frank conversation at the 52nd LWVUS national convention about the League commenting on the historic milestone of the first woman nominated as the presidential candidate for a major political party. Please use the below talking points if asked. Questions may be directed to Maggie Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Does the League have any comment on Secretary Hillary Clinton securing the Democratic Presidential nomination?
- “The League, along with all of our fellow Americans, must celebrate this historic event of a woman receiving the Presidential nomination of a major political party. It has always been a goal of the League of Women Voters to enable women to have an equal role in our nation’s political processes. It may have taken nearly 100 years since the first step of women receiving the right to vote, but that can’t diminish the historic significance of this moment and this achievement.”
- “We fundamentally believe that our democracy works best when all Americans, of all backgrounds, have the opportunity to fully participate in all aspects of our national political processes. This important moment sends the message that in this democracy, women finally are full participants in all aspects of the democratic processes.”
- “The League was founded on a belief in the power of women and the equality of their political voice. Achieving the Presidential nomination of a major political party is another important milestone in that journey to full democratic equality.”
- “The League has always believed in the power of women to create a more perfect democracy and the empowerment of all voters so that American democracy reflects the true diversity of our nation.”
- “We are thrilled that so many voters, especially millions of first-time voters, were engaged in the primary process this year. We’ll be doing everything we can to make sure they cast a vote in November.”
Q: So the League is endorsing Secretary Clinton? The League will fight to see that Secretary Clinton is elected as President?
[NOTE: The above question may get asked several times throughout the interview and the reporter will likely reframe this question to try to get you to answer. The League of Women Voters does not endorse, support or oppose candidates or political parties. These are the approved and established talking points for use on this topic.]
- “The League is the only living legacy organization from our nation’s fight to ensure that all Americans, men and women, can vote. This achievement of a presidential candidacy is an important historical moment in American democracy. So our entire nation, of all genders, ethnicities, races and political opinions, should celebrate and embrace what has happened.”
- “This is historic achievement is not about a particular woman or a particular political party. Rather it is a reflection of the fact that our country, the world’s greatest democracy, has realized a momentous goal of which we all can be proud.”
- “Informed participation of all people in our democracy has always been the League’s highest priority. Such participation includes not only voting but also becoming candidates for public office. The League never supports or opposes candidates and we never support or oppose political parties. Rather, our aim is focused on enabling and encouraging all citizens to fully participate so that they can weigh in on the issues that matter most to them.”
Women Voters and Officeholders
Q: What role will women voters play in the 2016 elections?
A: Women will clearly serve an important role in the elections this year. Women statistically participate in elections more than men do.
- In 2012, the U.S. Census reports that women had a higher voting rate (64 percent of the total eligible population of women) than men (60 percent). That’s about on trend with other recent presidential elections.
- This is across every age group, except in the over-75 category.
- And among those that reported voting, women outvoted men in every racial and ethnic group–African American, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, and white.
- It should be noted, though, that women do not have a single political point of view. Other demographic factors (geography, marital status, race, age, income) have much more impact on voter participation, or voters’ attitudes and preferences, than gender alone.
Note: These numbers are taken from the Center for American Women in Politics (CAWP). The numbers are a combination of Census data and exit polling.
Q: How many elected women are there?
A: Women remain sorely underrepresented in terms of running for office and holding leadership positions. There remains so much work to be done.
Facts on Women Officeholders:
In 2016, there are 104 women who serve in the U.S. Congress (or 19.4% of the 535 seats). Twenty women serve in the Senate (or 20% of the 100 seats) and 84 women serve in the House of Representatives (or 19.3% of the 435 seats). The number of women that serve in statewide executive elective posts is 76 (or 24.4% of the 312 seats), while the proportion of women in state legislatures is 24.6%.
Research shows, though, that women have a disproportionately more difficult time getting into the “pipeline” to run for office—and once, in office, do face challenges of getting into higher office. Many of these challenges are financial.
(SOURCE: CAWP, http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/current-numbers)
Q: Which women’s issues should voters care about the most?
A: “We tend not to think about issues in terms of men and women, but do believe that issues such as healthcare, education, global security and the economy are of great importance to all Americans—that is why it is important for everybody to vote. The outcome of this election will directly impact the lives of all Americans, not just women, so we want everybody to take a few minutes and register to vote—and ask their friends and families to do the same. It’s easy to get started at www.VOTE411.org.”